Season 1 - originally broadcast
March 9, 1966
French: "Quetzacoatl" (same)
Writer: Michael Zagor
Director: Richard Sarafian
Cosmonaut Dimitri Balin, who is devoted to the study of archaeology, disappears in the Mexican jungle to return to the ways of the Aztecs.
Rory Calhoun (Dimitri), George Montgomery (Nicolai), Kamala Devi (Felicitas), Robert Carricari (doctor), Larry Ward (Blair), Joe Dominguez (peasant), Henry O'Brien (Aztec #1), Henry Armago (Aztec #2)
FROM THE NOTEBOOKS - Rating
Synopsis: Russian communist turned pagan god
Highlights/Comments: Kelly's remark “Personally, I've had the same sensation myself. I'd like to pick another time, another century.”
The “I Spy” Forum comments on "A DAY CALLED 4 JAGUAR"
Date: 11/18/01 4:04:36 PM
Where did that title come from?
I watched this recently as it was on the same tape as Maude Murdock and thought it was a kind of period piece. It probably written to please the network by providing a percentage of episodes to show the cold war threat. It does date rather badly but it's a nice window into the past.
I was amused to see that it was Rory Calhoun under all that fake fur. His performance was kind of bland and his complete absent of any kind of accent hurt the characterization. I could understand the bad guy not having one as that was part of his cover but I think this is one of the main reasons I never thought too much of this episode.
George Montgomery as the avenging communist who grew up with the runaway officer was interesting but there was missing in the mix. It was good that it was pointed out he was an amateur as it would explain away a bunch of the sillier points in the story.
Being this was one of the more serious episodes, the boys don't really get a chance to have much fun but the byplay is still strong. The settings allow them some of their more reflective moments like when they observe modern welding being incorporated into the current Aztec culture. Culp has some fun with the babes and the scene by the pool is a good example of how the show can go from light humor to deadly serious in a heart beat but still retain that cool touch.
The one constant is the music. Hugo Friedhofer is credited and it has some lovely flute music toward the end that is quite nice.
I'll let someone else start the bidding of a grade on this one as it reminded me of a average third season episode of Star Trek for those of you who understand that reference
Author: Billy Bob Rover
Date: 11/18/01 6:27:15 PM
Well, I regret that Jahbad is no longer willing to step up boldly and afix a grade to these episodes.
Feeling no such compunction, I am going to assign A DAY CALLED 4 JAGUAR the grade of B-
George Montgomery & Rory Calhoun
How do I arrive at that figure? It is based completely on my mood at the moment, on the way I digesting the risotto I made for dinner, on the potency of the wine I enjoyed with it, and on the volume level of the television in the background as I write. This is how professors do it, I must confess. We can all look back on those bad grades we received at various points and say, "well, he had gas."
A DAY CALLED 4 JAGUAR: This has long seemed to me to be in part an opportunity to exploit some beautiful locations, but also to shoe-horn some then moderately well-known screen actors into guest spots on the show, As Jahbad has indicated, Rory Calhoun's good looks were bit wasted under the beard, but if you know anything about his career at the time, then you can see this as quite a departure for him, and one in which he acquits himself well, in my view.
George Montgomery's part seemed a bit silly to me for some years -- after all, how could one be a redneck and a communist at the same time? Now, however, amid talk of `sleepers` living quietly in the US, his portrayal of a Soviet spy under deep cover takes on new significance, and perhaps credibility. I especially liked his his Janet Reno-style camper. An NRA bumper-sticker would have completed the ensemble.